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Why Saints coach Sean Payton brought over $200,000 in cash to a team meeting

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Grant Halverson | Getty Images
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton knows exactly what to do to get his team motivated for a successful post-season run.

This week, Payton reportedly arrived at a team meeting accompanied by three armed guards and carrying more than $200,000 in cash, the Vince Lombardi Trophy and a Super Bowl ring as a way to inspire his team to become the 2019 NFL champions. Players can make $201,000 in playoff bonuses if they go to the Super Bowl, according to ESPN, and the Lombardi trophy is awarded to the winning team.

"That's definitely motivating," Saints running back Mark Ingram told ESPN. "Of course, everybody's playing to be champions. But that trophy, that bread, all that's on the line. It's just another little way to get us going."

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints walks the sideline during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 30, 2018.
Elsa | Getty Images
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints walks the sideline during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 30, 2018.

Payton used a similar motivational tactic to get his team pumped up for a Super Bowl win in 2009. In the past, according to ESPN, he's also used creative methods like dressing up as Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and flying in team mascots from the player's alma maters to get them inspired.

"It was a very Sean type of thing to do, so I thought it was cool," said Saints defensive tackle Tyeler Davison.

Drew Brees, the team's star quarterback, praised the coach for his extra efforts to keep momentum high as the team prepares for the next game.

"It was just Sean trying to give everybody a vision, especially the young guys, as to what we're after and the opportunity we have, especially as the No. 1 seed," he said.

This Sunday, the Saints will play in an NFC divisional playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Brees, who will turn 40 just two days after the game, is hoping to bring home another win in his 18th season with the league.

In an interview earlier this year with The Washington Post, the quarterback said he has a plan to play in the NFL until he's 45, and it includes at least one more Super Bowl. If the Saints win this next game against the Eagles, Brees will be one step closer to making that championship goal a reality.

"But first things first," he tells ESPN, "this game's the most important game of the season."

As Brees says the team's goal right now is to just continue to deliver. "We always expect to go out and execute to perfection," he says. "So let's just go play ball."

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